Best easy climbing near Chattanooga


Original Post
JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5

My girlfriend and I are thinking about a potential trip to Chattanooga for a week around early november. We climb at very different levels. I'd be psyched to check out the 5.12 classics at T-Wall, plus maybe some local sport crags. She is a psyched and experienced, but not physically talented climber and has the most fun on 5.5 to 5.8-. Is there good climbing for her around Chatt? Trad or sport are both fine. Even bouldering, but would need to be VB- easy. It looks like there are a hanfdfull of good 5.7s and 5.8s at T-Wall, but would be concerned about old-school sandbagged grades. Again, looking for really easy stuff, not getting sandbagged on something character-building. Is there enough quality easy stuff to for her for a week, and what is sugested?

Also open to suggestions elsewhere in the SE. Red, New, NC?

Luke R 84 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 328

Stone Fort/Little Rock City is an awesome bouldering destination with all sorts of routes at all sorts of grades. Regarding T-Wall and grading, there are several 5.8s that are challenging, but once you've done one you should be able to do most. I'd say they are all pretty sustained. The 5.7s there are a little more forgiving I think. Foster Falls is a great place, especially if it's hot out (lots of shade and a swimming hole). There are many good 5.8s and 5.9s, as well as good challenges in the 12s. It's virtually all Sport there, with just a few moderate trad routes to my knowledge. 

Chattanooga has a ton of everything except multipitch. On the map, North Carolina looks close but you've got to either go south through Atlanta and back up or through 1-2 mountainous areas to make it to most of the climbing areas. NC has a lot as well, I'd recommend looking at staying in Brevard or Asheville; Asheville being closer to rumbling bald, which has bouldering and trad routes, while Brevard is near looking glass and the cedar rock area, both offering lots of multipitch and probable seclusion.

Luke R 84 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 328

Also all three cities have good outdoor culture; I'd rank Asheville=Chattanooga (Chattanooga may have a slight edge), with Brevard beginning to catch up. I'm talking breweries, restaurants, gear shops, and of course, things to do. Brevard is lacking in sleeping areas that aren't camping, however (to my knowledge). 

Chuck Parks · · Atlanta, GA · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 1,976

Are you talking about splitting up and climbing with different partners for the day, or bouncing back and forth between your hard stuff and her easy stuff?

If you're splitting up for the day, Linville Gorge in North Carolina might be a good option. There's tons of great, easy multipitch trad at Table Rock and the Amphitheater, and you could head up to Hawksbill or Shortoff for the day and get on some kick-ass harder stuff. You'd definitely want to camp for the week if you head to Linville. So if you aren't looking to rough it then look elsewhere.

If you're bouncing back and forth on single pitch stuff, Chattanooga is viable. There are definitely enough easy climbs around at T-Wall to cover a few days. There's about a day's worth of sport climbing below 5.9 at Foster Falls. If you catch a warm day, you could head up to Sunset Park and do some single-pitch trad there.

Naturally the Red and the New would both work as well. Each area has tons of climbing at nearly every grade.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5
Chuck Parks wrote:

Are you talking about splitting up and climbing with different partners for the day, or bouncing back and forth between your hard stuff and her easy stuff?

If you're splitting up for the day, Linville Gorge in North Carolina might be a good option. There's tons of great, easy multipitch trad at Table Rock and the Amphitheater, and you could head up to Hawksbill or Shortoff for the day and get on some kick-ass harder stuff. You'd definitely want to camp for the week if you head to Linville. So if you aren't looking to rough it then look elsewhere.

If you're bouncing back and forth on single pitch stuff, Chattanooga is viable. There are definitely enough easy climbs around at T-Wall to cover a few days. There's about a day's worth of sport climbing below 5.9 at Foster Falls. If you catch a warm day, you could head up to Sunset Park and do some single-pitch trad there.

Naturally the Red and the New would both work as well. Each area has tons of climbing at nearly every grade.

Thanks, this is good info. It will be just us two. Our usual scenario is, it's it convenient, we'll do her stuff in the morning and mine in the afternoon, or vice versa. This only works with easy and hard stuff close enough together. Other scenario is her stuff on day 1, my stuff on day 2, repeat...

Thanks for pointing out sunset park. That looks pretty ideal, and fills out the selection of easier climbs. Plus some stuff for me too. Looks like maybe warmer days find shade at Sunset, cooler days go to T-wall.

Camping is fine. Any good, non-sketchy options around Chatt?

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5

I'd also love to go to the Red, but are there any areas there with easy and hard close enough together for us to both climb in the same day? Or would we have to alternate days?

I'd also be concerned about crazy crowding on easy routes there. Or is that avoidable by going to easy trad areas?

Jim Urbec · · sevierville, TN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
JCM wrote:

Camping is fine. Any good, non-sketchy options around Chatt?

check out either "the crash pad" for a place in chatt or Racoon Mountain campground for a actual campground just out of town.  we've stayed there three times.  pool, showers, wifi.  a primitive campsite with water was cheap.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
JCM wrote:

I'd also love to go to the Red, but are there any areas there with easy and hard close enough together for us to both climb in the same day? Or would we have to alternate days?

I'd also be concerned about crazy crowding on easy routes there. Or is that avoidable by going to easy trad areas?

Yes, Plenty.

Check out redriverclimbing.com for the online guide. there's also an interactive crag map s you can see what's close by, if you want to hit more than one in a day (but there's plenty of easy/hard climbs at many different crags)

Crowding varies. Don;t go to Bruisebrother's/Muir in general if you want to avoid that. PMRP/Motherlode Region will be less crowded, but you'e advised to have a vehicle with ground clearance for access. Easy trad wont be crowded in general, except for Fortress. But there's plenty of good easier stuff outside Fortress, and along side more difficult Sport (and Trad)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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